Leanne Carrasco wasn’t interested in a typical graduation party. She ordered 95 pizzas. She and her friends filled up goodie bags and braced for the crowd of party goers.
But instead of friends and family, Leanne had invited the residents of a women’s and children’s homeless shelter in Houston, Texas.
“Not a lot of people have the same options as me. It’s not fair,” she told CNN. “There are a lot of people who need help. So I give it.”
A month of preparation
Leanne had volunteered the Star of Hope Family Development Center before, but she’d never done anything quite like this.
She asked a bunch of her friends to help her with this big project.
Much of the preparation involved collecting personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, deodorant, and wipes. Altogether, the team was able to pack 400 goodie bags.
When the time for the party came, the pizza and the goodie bags were quite the hit!
Despite the success, Leanne gave more than just pizza and toothbrushes.
“They (the teens) had respect for the these people. They saw them as peers,” said Scott Arthur, a spokesman for Star of Hope. “The residents saw this as a validation that people do care.”
Shelter residents enjoy a “magical day”
When it was all said and done, Leanne and her friends celebrated with over 200 residents.
“It was a very magical day,” Arthur said. “It gives you a hope for the youth of today. They (the high schoolers) were able to think of other people.”
The residents thanked Leanne with a standing ovation and standing in line to give her a hug.
“I told her this was her final exam, and she got an A plus,” Arthur said.
Leanne will continue a life of serving others, as the graduating senior will be enrolling at Briar Cliff University to study nursing.
“I think you should always know you’re lucky to have what you have,” she said. “Don’t take that for granted and continue to give.”
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